Audi names its driver line-up for Le Mans

Audi will start the 78th edition of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 12/13 with a total of three diesel-powered racing sports cars. At a press conference of the organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), in Le Mans (France), Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich announced Audi’s driver line-up for the most important sports car race of the year.
The Audi squad will be spearheaded by the Italian Dindo Capello, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and the Scot Allan McNish, who in total, have scored 13 Le Mans victories. In 2008, they jointly clinched the eighth Le Mans triumph for Audi.

With eight wins under his belt, Tom Kristensen (42) is the most successful Le Mans driver of all time and has just been voted "sports car driver of the decade” by the British racing magazine "Autosport.” Allan McNish (40) was the runner-up in this voting. With a track record of 29 overall wins, Dindo Capello (45) leads the roll of honor in the American Le Mans Series by a wide margin.

The second Audi R15 TDI will be shared by Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and Mike Rockenfeller (Germany). The two Porsche "factory” drivers Timo Bernhard (28) and Romain Dumas (32) made a strong showing in their first race for Audi at Le Mans last year. Audi "factory” driver Mike Rockenfeller (26) won the Le Mans Series in 2008 in the Audi R10 TDI and successfully began his 2010 season with an overall victory at the 24-hour race at Daytona (USA) at the end of January.

New signings Marcel Fässler (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Belgium) and Benoît Treluyer (France) have been selected to drive the third R15 TDI. Marcel Fässler (33) and Benoît Treluyer (33) have contested the 24-hour race at Le Mans several times before. André Lotterer (28) performed admirably last year on his Le Mans debut at the wheel of a privately fielded R10 TDI.

All three Audi R15 TDI cars are entered by Audi Sport Team Joest and designated as cars number 7, 8 and 9. The third sports-prototype will officially run as "Audi Sport North America,” the name under which it was nominated.

"We are pleased that the ACO has accepted our three nominations for the world’s most important sports car race and that we will again be able to compete with three cars,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Our stated goal is to bring back the Le Mans trophy to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Three cars mean three chances – and we feel that all three R15 TDI cockpits have been filled with top-class drivers. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues from Porsche for again making two of their best drivers – Timo (Bernhard) and Romain (Dumas), with whom we were very pleased at their first Le Mans race for Audi – available to us.”

The Audi Teams at Le Mans 2010

#7 Dindo Capello (I)/Tom Kristensen (DK)/Allan McNish (GB)
#8 Marcel Fässler (CH)/André Lotterer (D)/Benoît Treluyer (F)
#9 Timo Bernhard (D)/Romain Dumas (F)/Mike Rockenfeller (D)

Dindo Capello, Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen